College Basketball Nation: Jeffrey Jordan

Gaming board probing Marcus Jordan

August, 30, 2010
The $35,000 Marcus Jordan tweet refuses to go away.

Last week, UCF sophomore Marcus Jordan apologized for posting a tweet that said he and his brother Jeffrey had a "stupid" night at Haze, a Las Vegas nightclub, where Jordan said they spent "35k." It was a silly mistake -- Jordan is 19, and thus isn't allowed to spend any amount of money in a Las Vegas club. Nor should he have been publicizing his family's excess, because that's just kind of lame.

But it turns out the tweet could be more serious than a mere nish-nish from Michael and Juanita Jordan. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vegas Confidential column, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is now investigating the matter. At issue, of course, is whether the underage Jordan was drinking and gambling:
The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Friday confirmed it is involved. At issue is whether Marcus Jordan, 19, was drinking alcohol or gambling. Gaming Control board member Randall Sayre said MGM Resorts International is in the early stages of an inquiry to see "where the system broke down."

Sayre said the board was quickly informed of the matter by MGM, the parent company of CityCenter.

Whether or not that inquiry will yield any consequences for Marcus Jordan is unclear. But it is another reminder that tweeting your activities -- especially when those activities are illegal, and especially when you're the newsworthy son of basketball's greatest and most famous player ever -- is not a particularly wise idea.
Somebody is going to see it. That's the first rule of Twitter -- if you're a celebrity (or even just a regular dude) and you post something offensive, questionable or otherwise noteworthy, even if you only intend for your friends and followers to read it, it will become a thing. Tweet accordingly.

UCF sophomore Marcus Jordan -- son of Michael Jordan, naturally -- learned that lesson this week, when he told his Twitter followers that his time at Haze Nightclub in Las Vegas was "stupid" because he spent "35k." Marcus, being under 21, should probably not have been in a nightclub in the first place. Nor is it particularly polite to flaunt your wealth in public. Best to leave that to the "Real Housewives of OH MY GOD TURN THIS SHOW OFF NOW." Ahem.

Anyway, a few days later, Marcus has acknowledged the tweet was a mistake, and older brother Jeffrey says he's used to doing "damage control" when Marcus gets a little too outgoing for his own good. His parents weren't too pleased, either. From Fox's Jeff Goodman:
"I didn’t mean it the way it came across," Marcus Jordan said. "My family and friends know the type of person I am."

However, the tweet did prompt a phone call from both Michael Jordan and his ex-wife, Juanita.

"I had conversations with both my parents," Marcus said.

As for his allowance?

"I’m still good," he laughed.

If there weren't thousands of dollars and a mega-famous basketball legend involved, this would sound a lot like my own family dynamic. My brother always got away with everything. Celebrities: They're just like us!
Lest we forget, the University of Central Florida has a rather interesting situation on its hands in 2010-11. Thanks to Jeff Jordan's transfer this offseason, UCF fans will get to watch both of Michael Jordan's offspring -- Jeff and Marcus -- play for their team. Neither is an elite player. Jeff was a one-time walk-on and defensive specialist at Illinois, while Marcus averaged 8.0 points per game at UCF as a freshman. But still, if only for public relations purposes, having both sons of the greatest basketball player at your program is undeniably unique. And, in its own way, pretty cool.

Then again, UCF would probably prefer the Jordan boys take the celebratory tweeting down a notch. According to the Chicago Tribune, Marcus and Jeff spent the weekend with their dad in Las Vegas, where the elder Jordan was hosting his ultra-expensive fantasy basketball camp. And, as you'd expect, they had fun doing so. From a since-deleted tweet by Marcus Jordan:
"Last night was stupid," Marcus Jordan wrote on his Twitter account. "… 35k at Haze… Totals 50k something the whole day.. Damn!! Going to the pool again today.. Gotta relax!"

"Haze" is Haze Nightclub and Liquid Pool Lounge, which, at least from photos, seems about as swanky and Vegas-y as you'd imagine. According to the site, Haze "a cutting-edge space in where [sic] guests will be challenged to question their sense of perception and reality." Oh, night clubs. Somehow, you always get more ridiculous.

So why is this news? Mostly because Marcus Jordan is not yet 21 years old, which means he probably shouldn't be having his perceptions challenged in a Las Vegas nightclub. Nor should he have been so conspicuous with his Vegas excess. Everyone already knows Michael Jordan loves to tear it up in Sin City, but that's probably not an image he -- or UCF, frankly -- will want his sons associated with.

It's not a huge deal. This is the last place you'll hear moralizing about Vegas excess and unwise bar expenditures, because hey, we've all been there (relatively speaking, of course). Nor is it a huge shock to know that somewhere, someone under 21 was in a nightclub, and that person's last name happened to be Jordan. Oh well, right?

But as the season rolls around and the boys get ready for practice to begin, it's probably best to focus on hoops and keep the Vegas debauchery out of the public eye. As with basketball, I'd imagine Marcus and Jeffrey's dad can probably offer some advice on that topic, too.
Central Florida? Where? Why?

Those are the three questions most asked of Michael Jordan's youngest son, Marcus Jordan, when the No. 59-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2009 decided to play his college basketball as a UCF Knight last year. The answers were simple, actually: UCF was a place Jordan could step in right away and play plenty of minutes, as opposed to using his name recognition to get a spot at a larger school where he wouldn't play as much and wouldn't have the chance to build gaudy stats in the early part of his college career.

Marcus' older brother Jeffrey took a different tact when he first chose his college, playing as a walk-on at Illinois. Jeff Jordan eventually earned a scholarship, quit the team last summer, came back for the 2009-10 season, and then decided to leave Illinois altogether last week.

Guess where he's going to transfer? Yep: Central Florida. You could ask the same questions -- why Central Florida? -- of Jeffrey, but they're even simpler to explain than during Marcus' decision period. His brother's already there. Apparently, he likes the school. Yadda, yadda, yadda, Jeffrey Jordan's a UCF Knight. That easy.

Jeffrey will play his final year of college eligibility as a walk-on. His brother will be a sophomore. According to my calculations, that means the UCF Knights will have the two spawn of the single greatest basketball player of all-time playing for them at the same time. This sounds more awesome than it actually is, of course -- neither Jeffrey nor Marcus has shown much in the way of being an impact player at the college level -- but still, if you're a UCF fan, that's kind of awesome, right?